Senate Set to Hold Test Vote Wednesday on Election Reforms

Senate Set to Hold Test Vote Wednesday on Election Reforms

The Senate is likely to take a procedural vote Wednesday on whether to debate an overhaul of federal election law, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday as he urged Republicans not to block the measure.

“If there’s anything worthy of debate in this chamber, it should be protecting and strengthening our democracy,” Schumer said of the bill to expand voters’ access to mail-in ballots and other steps.

If Republicans prevent debate on the bill, some Democrats are likely to urge Schumer to find a way around the Senate’s filibuster procedure that requires at least 60 votes in the evenly split, 100-member chamber for most legislation to advance.

Such ideas include exempting the measure from the filibuster. Others include requiring senators stay in the chamber and talk until the filibuster is abandoned – the way it used to be done.

The bill is in response to voting restrictions passed in Republican-led states following former President Donald Trump’s claim he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden “because Democrats used COVID to cheat.”

Since late last year, a number of Republican-controlled states have enacted or advanced bills codify election laws that were skirted under the guise of COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

Democrats are adamant putting mail-in balloting into law throughout the country, something Republicans have called a power grab.

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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